The Bay Area has no shortage of beautiful venues, outdoor locations, restaurants, and hotels for those perfect engagement photos. The wide variety of locations allows couples to find a location that reflects their love perfectly, but it can also be quite daunting to find the right spot! I have a few of my favorite locations in mind that might make your decision making easier. This is part one of a two-part series covering some the Bay Area’s best engagement locations!
Just north of the Golden Gate Bridge lies a gorgeous county with charming towns and beautifully preserved outdoor areas. Here are a few potential locations for couples who want to get out of the urban hustle and bustle and capture their love in an outdoor setting. Welcome to Marin!
Bon Tempe Lake, Fairfax:
Bon Tempe is a favorite of Marinites and city people alike. You can get a view of Mt. Tamalpais without having to drive on the winding roads and it’s a short hike (about 5 minutes) to everything beautiful. Bon Tempe isn’t usually crowded and has options for different types of shots among the oak trees and views of the mountainscape. I shot a wedding at Bon Tempe recently and the views were stunning!
Mt. Tam, of course, is a romantic, fun, and playful location. It can be quite windy, chilly and sometimes foggy. I think the fog is lovely and adds a sense of playful mystery and it’s a bay area staple. There is fog everywhere. Depending on the time of year you can get lush green hills or even beautiful golden hills. This particular shoot was during the spring months when the lighting is soft and the grassy hills are emerald green.
Point Reyes National Seashore:
For the venturesome, outdoorsy, and bold, look west! Point Reyes boasts a lot of natural beauty, but some areas of interest are the Cypress Tree Tunnel, the lighthouse, and the beaches. The one lane roads and the beautiful sights along the way can have a windswept look to them, making pictures look like they are from another time.
The Redwoods: Muir Woods and Roy’s Redwoods Preserve
Muir Woods is a perfect fit for those who love to hike and enjoy nature in all its glory. It is best suited for a weekday trip since you have to reserve a parking spot ahead of time and pay a small entrance fee. It’s worth it. Those Redwoods are just breathtaking! Be ready to do some walking if you choose this location for your engagement shoot.
If you are looking for that deep forest magic look without the crowds on the weekend, Roy’s Redwoods Preserve in Woodacre is breathtaking. It is much smaller than the areas mentioned above but just as beautiful. There is usually a lot fewer people and you can park just on the side of the road, rather than reserving a parking spot like at Muir Woods.
I hope you find the perfect fit for you and your significant other! Stay tuned for my picks for the best Bay Area engagement locations for San Francisco and the South Bay!